Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 17:27 UTC
Linux Steve Cheney:

There's more to the platform wars than mobile - Android is starting to take off in non-mobile markets in a massive way - Internet of Things, Television (Chromecast), etc. To date Linux has been the dominant OS but Android is now taking some embedded designs which would have run Linux. The effective decoupling of Android from carriers for non-mobile markets + the richness of tools and the existing developer ecosystem will likely cement Android as the definitive open source OS of the next decade. This will have pluses for Google but also unintended consequences.

A common misconception among people who don't really understand what Linux is - one that I'm seeing pop up more and more now that people are trying to paint Android in a negative light - i.e., as competition to not just iOS, but also the noble and open source Linux.

Repeat after me: Android is just as much 'Linux' as Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, or anything else that uses the Linux kernel. Technically, a better term would be 'Linux distribution', since Linux in and of itself is just a kernel. Wikipedia defines 'Linux distribution' quite well:

A Linux distribution (often called distro for short) is a member of the family of Unix-like operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel. Such distributions are operating systems including a large collection of software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, media players, and database applications. These operating systems consist of the Linux kernel and, usually, a set of libraries and utilities from the GNU Project, with graphics support from the X Window System. Distributions optimized for size may not contain X and tend to use more compact alternatives to the GNU utilities, such as BusyBox, uClibc, or dietlibc.

Android is a Linux distribution, and is an addition to the Linux ecosystem - not a challenger. Painting it as such is just a sign of ignorance.

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Try to hook up an Android phone to a computer.

Windows (Xp, 7, etc.) recognizes the phone as such and installs the needed drivers. The phone can be used as an USB drive. Cool.

Linux does not recognize the phone. After browsing the internet you will find out that you have to manually install some software and (if you get it to work) it's still a manual mount/unmount of the phone. No help from Nautilus of other file managers. Bad.

Ubuntu 13.04 includes a MTP backend that works out of the box for automatically mounting Android 4.x devices with Nautilus.

Interestingly enough yesterday I was installing Cyanogenmod on my wife's Samsung galaxy tab 10.1. I had no clue about how to do that, so after some reading I saw that I had to flash both a bootloader and the CWM from a Windows app called Odin (later I found out there's a multiplatform alternative called Heimdall).

So I did that on a Windows laptop and it worked, but when I tried to plug the tablet to copy the ROM file to the internal memory Windows failed to install the MTP driver.

Maybe I would have had to install Samsung's KIES or hunt the drivers around myself, I don't know, but the fact is that out of the box it crapped on Windows7 yet worked on Ubuntu.

Edited 2013-08-21 08:01 UTC

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